Last Exile - Snow White fic
in response to prompt #1 posted here
A work in progress-ish, mostly just posted here because I want to show it to the prompter and don't have anywhere else to put it.
“Once upon a time, beyond the furthest reaches of the sky, a beautiful Queen ruled over a world that was all hers. Every drop of rain that fell upon the land belonged to her, and even the parched soil that greeted it knew her name. The creatures who walked upon that land, however, were ignorant and crude. As their Queen, it was her duty to maintain order and perfection in a world that otherwise would have fallen into unsightly decay. Her subjects adored her, and she reigned from a gleaming fortress high up in the clouds, where all that surrounded her was exquisite and rare. Anything she wanted in the world was hers, and her only sorrow was that the world held nothing truly worthy of her attention.
“Then one day, while visiting a land of snow and walking through the winter Garden she maintained in that place, she happened upon a rose that was as beautiful and perfect as she.” Here Delphine always produced a rose as a prop, and let child before her touch it’s satiny red petals, in wonder and in fear. “It was of a kind she had never seen before —- what was it doing down there on the ground? As soon as she saw it, she knew not only that she must have it, but that she must cut it herself. Now, although the queen had always delighted in the sight of roses, she had never held one in her own hand before: her servants, who loved her so dearly, had always cut and arranged them for her! Imagine her surprise when, running her hand down the stem” —- and as she spoke, she guided the small white hand of the child in illustration —- “she pricked her finger on a sharp, cruel thorn.”
The barb cut clean and deep into the tender skin, drawing forth a bright red bead. Delphine held the finger out in front of the child so that the blood fell to the polished floor between them: red on white.
Here she let the child, still staring at it’s wounded finger as if in a trance, take up the tale: “I wish I had a child with blood as pure and beautiful as mine, with skin as white as snow, and hair the colour of rainbirds.”
She smiled sweetly. “That’s right, my little Dio. And because the Queen got everything she wanted, she was soon granted her wish, and was given a sibling of her own blood, with skin as white as snow, and hair the colour of rainbirds.” As she spoke these words, she stroked first the child’s pale cheek, then it’s hair, and last, lifting the still-bleading finger to her mouth, touched her tongue to the wound. “So you see,” she concluded, ” it is by my wish that you exist in this world, my dear brother. And when you are old enough, if you prove yourself worthy, you shall join me as it’s master.”
The child nodded, eyes wide.
This had been the story, from the very first day. He remembered how he had become hers —- remembered the red, red blood on something so blindingly white, it may well have been snow. Any time before that was a dream. Or perhaps that had been reality, and he was dreaming still. Either way It made little difference: if indeed it was a dream, it was her dream, and he was trapped in it.